SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

December 20, 2013

Ideas for sharing the gift of gardening

Last-minute gifts from last-minute gardeners (better late than never!):

A handwritten note is a promise of a job you will do in the future. Great when the purse is getting empty — but so valuable to the receiver!

It could be a promise to weed a garden once or twice next summer.

Or rake leaves for a favorite elder.

Or to deliver a bag of your very best compost in the spring.

Or promise to dig a garden in the spring for a friend with a bad back!

Or repot a favorite houseplant.

Amaryllis bulbs: the biggest and best bulbs are about $10. Add a clay pot and saucer — total cost, just over $15.

Tools for kids: Give the kids their very own tools — a hoe, a shovel and a three-prong cultivator, with 28-inch handles. All are painted red, so they won’t get lost (we hope!). Set of three, $24.95. And why not add kids’-size gloves? These are real work gloves, made of cotton canvas and leather — they come in three sizes to fit kids ages 3 to 10, and they are also great for women with small hands.

Dried flowers: flowers you dried from your garden this year — you did dry some this year, didn’t you? Use them in a basket arrangement with some greens or make potpourri and bottle in those jars you’re recycling. Add a bow — cost is zero.

Pressed-flower notepaper: Use some of those flowers you’ve pressed to make original notepaper. Carefully glue to paper with white glue.

Put together a basket of potting materials for a friend. Include a bag of soil, a clay pot, some green bamboo stakes, maybe some moss, special stones — anything used to pot during the winter ahead. Cost could be zero.

Give a tree. Any garden center would be glad to write a gift certificate for a tree, or other plants, to plant in the spring. Thinking about this gift might make the winter seem shorter. You set the amount!

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